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Oct 05, 2012 08:16 AM EDT

$2.1 million Fellowship to UConn for Graduate Students in Critical Fields

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The University of Connecticut has received five awards as part of the federal grant program for excellent quality of graduate programs and helping students to get careers in critical fields including nursing, engineering and education.

The university will be receiving $2.1 million as fellowship aid for students pursuing graduate programs in important areas of education for the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education as part of an initiative called Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program.

"UConn has enjoyed a long history of collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education's efforts to improve graduate education," Kent Holsinger, interim vice provost for graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School, said in a statement.

The five GAANN awards were received for the School of Nursing, Department of Chemical, Materials, & Biomolecular Engineering, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Office of the Provost and  Neag School of Education.

The award will be given to doctoral students in nursing to help students perform research in the field and teach others so as to increase the student enrollment in the field and help in making more students take nursing as a profession.

While GAANN fellow students of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering will work on designing and manufacturing batteries, solar power to overcome energy needs, students of electrical engineering will indulge in more research work to protect and increase the security of the computer systems.

The project of office of the provost in collaboration with the school of engineering will indulge student to work various methods such as sustainable clean energy techniques, fuel cells and carbon sequestration to provide solutions for clean energy.

Students of Neag School of Education will work towards increasing the number of skilled psychometricians and educational research methodologists under GAANN fellowship. Graduates will be contributing to the academic growth and push for more experts in the field of education.

"Studies and statistics confirm that, even in a tough economy, additional education translates into increased opportunities for workers," U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., who recently announced the awards, said in a statement.

"With this funding, UConn will continue to educate the leaders of tomorrow in critical areas like nursing and engineering that will fuel our economic growth for decades to come."

The awards will be given to those students who have an excellent academic track record and prefer to pursue higher studies in any of the above mentioned fields.

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